So you’ve planned a nice beach holiday where reading will play a major factor. You’ve loaded up your tablet with all your ebooks, packed the tanning lotion and think you’re good to go.
Depending on the country you go to you may find that you can’t actually access your ebooks because of restrictions in said country. This is Digital Rights Management (DRM) at its most annoying. Just because we buy ebooks doesn’t mean we have full access rights to them. Don’t blame me I’m just saying what Amazon and Google say in their fine print.
I’ve got the Kindle app on my iPad and I have one book that I purchased on a whim. I didn’t want to wait for the paperback to be delivered and like a 2-year-old I wanted to read it like right this minute. It was a simple enough purchase and satisfied my need instantly which made me consider buying more. But I do like to look for drawbacks before going all in on things and that’s when I learned about the drawbacks of DRM.
When you buy an ebook on your Kindle or Google Play, you are actually just buying a licence to read the book. Unlike a nice hardback or paperback, you don’t own it. If you fall foul of Amazon’s terms of service your access to your books will be revoked. Amazon customer Linn Nygaard, had her kindle wiped and her account closed by Amazon for unspecified violations to their terms of services.
In another tale of woe, Google Play customer lost access to all his ebooks on a trip to Singapore. Detecting that he was in a country where Google books aren’t’ available the app denied him access to his books. This is not encouraging news.
I do prefer to take a paperback to bed but I like the convenience of ebooks. The amount of times I’ve had to resell a book after one chapter because it was crap. The low cost of most ebooks means if I hate a book, I won’t have the added burden of paying too much money for the experience.
So what to do? There are advocates for taking ownership of your ebooks by removing DRM and I might have to consider this. Or I could just stick to paperbacks and make better book choices. For now I’ll just keep myself amused with the free ebooks over at Project Gutenberg.